Movie Diary 1/5/2009

orlacThe Hands of Orlac (Robert Wiene, 1924). Conrad Veidt stars as the concert pianist whose money-makers are severed in an accident; he freaks out when he discovers that his newly transplanted hands belonged to a killer. The story has been filmed a number of times — the semi-classic Mad Love, with Peter Lorre, plays considerable variations on the original. This one, teaming Veidt with his Caligari director Wiene, is quite strong if exactingly slow. Although the film doesn’t qualify as purely Expressionist, it does use Expressionist flourishes in the sets and the acting. Veidt is awesome — barely thirty when he made it, but looking much older.

Pirates of the Great Salt Lake (E.R. Nelson). DVD release for a film festival comedy from Utah, with just enough silliness to get it over the Napoleon Dynamite wannabeism. Also, Larry Bagby announces himself as the next Danny McBride.